Why We're at War With Ourselves: Understanding Racism as an Introduction to Psychology
There's nothing inherently wrong with stereotypes. In fact, cognitive psychologists argue that we need them in order to survive.
There's nothing inherently wrong with stereotypes. In fact, cognitive psychologists argue that we need them in order to survive. For instance, that is how we know what is good to eat, and what is not. Yale professor Paul Bloom, argues in his Floating University lecture that "part of being a successful human is the ability to learn, and part of learning is making statistical generalizations on the basis of limited experience."
While the stereotypes we make about groups we are part of can be accurate and positive, we want to avoid certain stereotypes, "particularly ugly pernicious stereotypes," Bloom argues, "that are based on a person's sex, age, race, profession, religion, sexual orientation, and nationality." These stereotypes tend to be based on biased information. For instance, are all Italian-Americans like the characters on the Sopranos--or for that matter, The Jersey Shore? Of course not. What if your opinion of Jews was based solely on Shakespeare's character Shylock? A reasonable person would say no. However, many of our stereotypes are the result of an unconscious bias.
For instance, when the Soviet Union was America's ally during World War II, Americans tended to describe Russians as “brave and hard-working." After the war, in 1948, Americans described their new Cold War competitors as “cruel and conceited."
In the video below, Bloom addresses racist stereotypes and how he says we can structure our world so that we can diminish the role of unconscious bias.
Watch the video here:
Former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen discusses whether our society should always defend free speech rights, even for groups who would oppose such rights.
- Former ACLU president Nadine Strossen understands that protecting free speech rights isn't always a straightforward proposition.
- In this video, Strossen describes the reasoning behind why the ACLU defended the free speech rights of neo-Nazis in Skokie, Illinois, 1977.
- The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Going back to the moon will give us fresh insights about the creation of our solar system.
- July 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the moon landing — Apollo 11.
- Today, we have a strong scientific case for returning to the moon: the original rock samples that we took from the moon revolutionized our view of how Earth and the solar system formed. We could now glean even more insights with fresh, nonchemically-altered samples.
- NASA plans to send humans to a crater in the South Pole of the moon because it's safer there, and would allow for better communications with people back on Earth.
Pugs and bulldogs are incredibly trendy, but experts have massive animal welfare concerns about these genetically manipulated breeds.
- Pugs, Frenchies, boxers, shih-tzus and other flat-faced dog breeds have been trending for at least the last decade.
- Higher visibility (usually in a celebrity's handbag), an increase in city living (smaller dogs for smaller homes), and possibly even the fine acting of Frank the Pug in 1997's Men in Black may be the cause.
- These small, specialty pure breeds are seen as the pinnacle of cuteness – they have friendly personalities, endearing odd looks, and are perfect for Stranger Things video montages.
Jokesters and serious Area 51 raiders would be met with military force.
- Facebook joke event to "raid Area 51" has already gained 1,000,000 "going" attendees.
- The U.S. Air Force has issued an official warning to potential "raiders."
- If anyone actually tries to storm an American military base, the use of deadly force is authorized.